from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The act or process of inventing.
  • noun A new device, method, or process developed from study and experimentation.
  • noun A mental fabrication, especially a falsehood.
  • noun Skill in inventing; inventiveness.
  • noun Music A short composition developing a single theme contrapuntally.
  • noun A discovery; a finding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A finding. [Obsolete, or archaic, as in the phrase Invention of the Cross. See cross.]
  • noun The act or process of finding out how to make something previously unknown, or how to do something in a new way; original contrivance; creation by a new use of means: as, the invention of printing; the invention of the steamengine, or of an improved steam-engine.
  • noun That which is invented; something previously unknown, or some new modification of an existing thing, produced by an original use of means; an original contrivance or device. When used absolutely, it generally denotes a new mechanical device, or a new process in one of the useful arts.
  • noun Specifically, in music, a short piece in which a single thought is worked out, usually contrapuntally, but with the comparative simplicity of an impromptu or of a study.
  • noun The act of producing by the exercise of the imagination; mental fabrication or creation: as, the invention of plots or of excuses.
  • noun The faculty or power of inventing; skill or ingenuity in original contrivance; the gift of finding out or producing new forms, methods, processes, effects, etc.; in art and lit., the exercise of imagination in production; the creative faculty.
  • noun A coming in; arrival.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of finding out or inventing; contrivance or construction of that which has not before existed
  • noun That which is invented; an original contrivance or construction; a device
  • noun Thought; idea.
  • noun A fabrication to deceive; a fiction; a forgery; a falsehood.
  • noun The faculty of inventing; imaginative faculty; skill or ingenuity in contriving anything new.
  • noun (Fine Arts, Rhet., etc.) The exercise of the imagination in selecting and treating a theme, or more commonly in contriving the arrangement of a piece, or the method of presenting its parts.
  • noun (Eccl.) a festival celebrated May 3d, in honor of the finding of our Savior's cross by St. Helena.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Something invented.
  • noun The act of inventing.
  • noun The capacity to invent.
  • noun music A small, self-contained composition, particularly those in J.S. Bach’s Two- and Three-part Inventions.
  • noun archaic The act of discovering or finding; the act of finding out; discovery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the creation of something in the mind
  • noun a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation
  • noun the act of inventing


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English invencioun, scheme, plan, from Old French invencion, a finding out, from Latin inventiō, inventiōn-, inventiveness, from inventus, past participle of invenīre, to find; see invent.]


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